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The Empowered Job Seeker, v.2 - Mikala's Moment of Clarity

#careertransitionprogram #careertransitionprograms #careertransitionservices #hr #hrcanada #hrmanagers #hrsupport #humanresources #outplacement #outplacementcanada #outplacementprograms #outplacementservices #theempoweredjobseeker Jan 30, 2024

The value of formal career assessment.

Several years ago, we worked with a well experienced lady who had been let go by her employer after over 25 years of service.  Mikala was a Mechanical Engineer by education and had worked for a large, multi-national manufacturing company located just outside of Toronto. Her last title was Vice President of Manufacturing before she joined our outplacement program.

Mikala was quite taken aback by her unexpected dismissal given her long tenure and status with the company.  She was upset about it – that was for sure, but through the process of accepting her new reality of unemployment, Mikala found a new perspective about her career to date and what she needed going forward.

As Mikala worked with us through the results of a formal career assessment, she found herself digging deep into her feelings about the experiences developed along the course of her career history.  She reflected on how they affected her on a personal level and what she wanted for her career and life going forward.

Through the Strong Interest Inventory® assessment report and consultation, Mikala confirmed that engineering was a suitable career path and it lined up well with her interest areas, however she also uncovered the cold hard truth that although her ego enjoyed the status of holding a VP title, the stress that that level of leadership caused her needed to be re-evaluated.

The usual, initial knee-jerk reaction for most people when they leave a job, is to replace it as closely as possible.  Mikala was no different, until she spent the time reflecting on how happy she actually was at work and explored some of the true reasons for her dismissal.

Mikala came to terms with the fact that the responsibility of managing and mentoring a large team was affecting her mental health, the amount of quality time that she spent with her family and as it turned out, her performance in her current role.

As is often the case in large organizations, successful, high achieving employees are often moved up the ranks over the years as a way for the company to reward their efforts. However, moving up the ranks isn’t necessarily the best thing for every person.

In Mikala’s case, she came to realize that at this stage of her life, she didn’t want the accountability of dealing with human resources issues, operational and financial management tasks that came with her high-level position.  She simply wanted to design and build things, i.e. use her engineering skills and education.  She realized how much she loved the early stages of her career when she was doing just that!

And so, Mikala’s mind-set shifted about where she was headed in the next stage of her career and her level of worry diminished, because her next job search objective became clear.  She no longer needed to stress about the expectations that came with more senior roles, because she knew that was not going to be her objective going forward.

As we continued to work with Mikala through her CMS career transition program, we zeroed in on suitable engineering roles in other manufacturing firms, or senior engineering roles in smaller manufacturing organizations.

The development of a goal that was perceived to be a ‘lower level’ position was a shock for some of Mikala’s colleagues and family members, but she found peace with it.  And ultimately, if our work can fit peacefully within our lives as a whole and it matches who we are as people (not the other way around!), we will have achieved the ultimate career objective!